We got up early and drove into Zion National Park, parked, and hopped on the shuttle to the Grotto to get to the most exciting hike in Zion, Angel’s Landing. Dan and I had hiked it years before and we couldn’t wait to show the kids how cool it is. After hiking by the Virgin River for awhile, we got to…
… the famous Walter’s Wiggles, 21 switchbacks built into the side of the hill by master craftsmen years ago. I was gasping for air and happy to take a break for this photo opportunity. It’s only 2.4 miles to the end, but it’s all uphill and it was already scorching hot in the shade.
Eliza and I are firmly seated on Scout’s Landing while Dan and Nate check out the trail as it continues to Angels Landing. It goes right up the side of that hill and then another 1/2 mile out to the end. It has steep drop offs and a few chains to hold onto. 6 people have died on it. Dan and I hadn’t gone to the end years ago, and I knew I couldn’t now. Eliza didn’t go because her shoes had no tread, which is necessary. Dan went up a ways and then turned around to come sit with us. It was hard for him to admit he couldn’t do it, and even harder to let Nate go alone. We had talked about it before and Nate said he really wanted to do it, so we let him.
Look closely. That’s Nate’s boot, right on the edge of Angels Landing. I cried when he texted this to me later in the day. That’s straight down! My son stood there! He didn’t take a selfie or ask anyone to take a picture of him, but I think this picture is priceless. We started this trip with a 6th grader, and we’re going home with a young man who wants to be a Marine. Wow.
After getting back down, we hiked to the viewpoint for the Court of the Patriarchs, but there wasn’t anyone around to take our family picture, so we tried this selfie. Hilarious! We’d been hiking long enough, so we headed back to the RV park for wifi that works, a dip in the pool and a great dinner. Life is rough.